Scope and Content of Collection
Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego
9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla 92093-0175
Title: Lola Romanucci-Ross Papers
Identifier/Call Number: MSS 0818
6.2 Linear feet
(13 archives boxes, 4 card file boxes, and 4 films)
Date (inclusive): 1953-2000
Abstract: Papers of Lola Romanucci-Ross, cultural anthropologist and professor in both UC San Diego's Department of Anthropology and
the School of Medicine's Department of Family and Preventative Medicine.
Scope and Content of Collection
Papers of Lola Romanucci-Ross, cultural anthropologist and professor in both UC San Diego's Department of Anthropology and
the School of Medicine's Department of Family and Preventative Medicine. The collection contains correspondence; field notes
and diary accounts from her research in Mexico, Papua New Guinea, and Italy; research and lecture notes; drafts of writings;
and audiovisual materials including sound recordings and a small selection of films made by her former husband, anthropologist
Arranged in six series: Series 1) CORRESPONDENCE, 2) FIELDWORK, 3) PROFESSIONAL PAPERS, 4) SOUND RECORDINGS, 5) MOVING IMAGES,
6) 2021 ADDITIONS.
Lola Romanucci-Ross was born in Hershey, Pennsylvania to first-generation Italian immigrants. She received her bachelor degree
at Ohio University, her M.A. from the University of Minnesota, and earned her doctoral degree from Indiana University in 1963.
She then traveled to France for post-doctoral research with renowned anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss at l'École des Hautes
Études. She studied medical, social and cultural anthropology.
In 1958 she and her then-husband Theodore "Ted" Schwartz began a three-year fieldwork research project focused on a psycho-cultural
study of the Mexican village of Chiconcuac, (now Chiconcuac de Juárez), working under German philosopher Erich Fromm with
the Mexican National University.
In 1963 the Schwartzes set out for a three-year expedition funded by the National Institute of Mental Health to study the
Manus people of the Admiralty Islands, Papua New Guinea. The study, which they called the New Guinea Admiralty Island Expedition
(NGAI), lasted from 1963-1966. She accompanied Ted Schwartz for the first two years and he continued on for the third year.
This expedition was also part of a Ted Schwartz's longitudinal study of the Manus people which spanned several decades. It
was there that the Schwartzes developed a life-long friendship and professional relationship with anthropologist Margaret
Mead. During the study, they were based primarily in Pere but also other villages including Sori and Mokerang for six months
each, as well as Lorengau.
In 1969, Romanucci-Ross joined the UC San Diego faculty shortly after the conception of the School of Medicine and was at
the forefront of incorporating social sciences in the training of medical students and was instrumental in developing a new
core curriculum called Social and Behavioral Sciences.
She returned to the hometown of her parents, Ascoli Piceno, Italy in 1970 to conduct a longitudinal cultural study of medical
and psychological anthropology, which continued for over two decades.
In 1972 she married her third husband John Ross, Jr., a cardiologist and professor of medicine at UC San Diego. As longstanding
supporters of higher education, they share the UC San Diego School of Medicine Lola Romanucci-Ross and John Ross, Jr. Award
in Medical Anthropology, and the John and Lola Ross Award in Sciences and Culture of Medicine.
Throughout her long career, Romanucci-Ross published over 77 professional papers, as well as several books based on her field
research. Her ethnography,
Conflict, Violence and Morality in a Mexican Village, was first published in 1973 about her study in the rural community of Chiconcuac, Mexico.
Mead's Other Manu: Phenomenology of the Encounter (1985), emerged from the work she conducted in Papua New Guinea and from her close association with Margaret Mead.
When Law and Medicine Meet: A Cultural View, was co-authored with her cousin, lawyer and psychiatrist Laurence Tancredi as part of the International Library of Ethics,
Law, and the New Medicine series. Romanucci-Ross collaborated with Tancredi as well as Daniel Moerman, editing
The Anthropology of Medicine: From Culture to Medicine; she co-edited along with George DeVos
Ethnic Identity: Creation, Conflict and Accommodation (1995) to which she contributed the essay "Matrices of an Italian Identity," from her field study in Ascoli Piceno, and her
One Hundred Towers: An Italian Odyssey of Cultural Survival (1991) was the culmination of her two decades long study there.
To Love the Stranger: The Making of An Anthropologist (2012) was her last major published work. It draws on both her personal and professional insights from a life in the field
and describes from her perspective what it means to be an anthropologist.
Romanucci-Ross was a member or fellow of several professional organizations including the American Anthropological Association,
the Society for Health and Human Values, the Society for Medical Anthropology, the Southwestern Anthropological Association,
the Society for Psychological Anthropology, the Society for Cultural Anthropology, and the Society for Anthropology of Europe.
She died on April 29, 2017 at the age of 93.
Lola Romanucci-Ross Papers. MSS 818. Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego.
Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.
Theodore Schwartz Papers. MSS 790. Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego.
Original audiovisual formats are restricted. Viewing/listening copies may be available for researchers.
Subjects and Indexing Terms
Anthropologists -- California -- San Diego -- Archives
Ethnologists -- California -- San Diego -- Archives
Medical anthropology -- Research -- Mexico
Medical anthropology -- Research -- Papua New Guinea
Ethnology -- Research -- Mexico
Ethnology -- Research -- Italy
Ethnology -- Papua New Guinea
Romanucci-Ross, Lola -- Archives
Mead, Margaret, 1901-1978
Fromm, Erich, 1900-1980